Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 December 2004 - Friday

Maybe now people will believe me when I say Ken is a threat.

* * *

Ayse didn't feel up to going to Harold's party, so Ken didn't go, and then Marith didn't want to go either, so I was pretty much stuck. But I didn't mind not going, really. Instead I got to watch the first (actual, not aired) episode of Firefly, which was pretty cool. At midnight we paused the DVD and cheered, and then went back to watching. :)

Also there was a special showing of the Cébu Song, just for Ayse.

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30 December 2004 - Thursday

No one actually woke up on time for the scheduled bacon-french toast breakfast, but it all turned out okay anyway. I wickedly ate three french toasts, but I didn't put any syrup on them, which has got to count for something, right? Right?

Most of the rest of the day was spent cooking, at least for Ayse and I. I played sous-chef and chopped and ladelled and stirred, but did not climb any skyscrapers nor get jumped on by Devil Bunny. (Probably for the best). Once the bird was roasting away, we extracted Ken from Civ and Marith from needlepoint and played Cities and Monkeys of Catan. Poor Marith didn't get to build a city until well after everyone else, and in this game that matters a lot, so despite being twice decorated Defender of Catan, she didn't do very well. Ken built a city on his first or second turn, so even though he sometimes feigned weakness, he crushed us all beneath his heel. Then the barbarians came and everyone lost a city, which set the game back so much that we didn't finish by the time appointed for devouring the yummy food.

Roasted turkey! Bacon-pine nut stuffing! Roasted onions! Leeks! Cheese broccoli! Vinegar-marinated pearl onions! Walnut cheese! Swoon!

Then for dessert Ken brought out Marith's belated birthday cake, which was so dense that light could not escape from its surface, filled with chocolate buttercream, and topped with some sort of dark chocolate event horizon, on which was stenciled a lizard in powdered sugar. (The lizard was Ayse's idea). Wow.

When we recovered from being stunned by the chocolate, we finished the game, and indeed, Ken won by like 13 to 8. Hmph.

Nothing really happened after that, but it was nice anyway. Aimee came and sat in my lap to be petted twice, so I guess she has forgiven me for being the wrong person at the door all those times I was taking care of her.

Hurray Second Christmas!

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29 December 2004 - Wednesday

All the monitoring weasels work, yay! I started work on a different weasel, but got distracted by yet a third weasel and then had to leave to avoid straining Keepmedia's budget. It was like being productive.

* * *

I got a paycheck for a whole fortnight of half-time work, which was not quite as much as I was hoping for. It's not much less, but paying rent and paying bills and eating all in the same month may be slightly tricky. Bah.

* * *

Apparently Ayse & Ken got almost no Christmas at all in Mexico, so we must go shopping and have Make-Up Christmas tomorrow, with friendship and roast bird and everything!

* * *

Darn, none of the people responsible for forking my comics over to Earl & Cat were working today. Maybe next week.

Introducing Ayse & Ken to Dittmer's more than made up for it, though. Muahahahahaha!

* * *

Yum, pizza! And flollomping around in search of the lost art of conversation; it's amazing how much we can talk about a book that none of us has actally read.

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28 December 2004 - Tuesday

Now my perl weasel logs, and the other weasel monitors and logs. The third weasel is slightly more difficult since it has to maintain state, but I think I will be able to finish it up tomorrow.

* * *

Yay! Ayse & Ken are back from Mexico! We do not have to spring them from the DHS! They are happy with the condition of their cats!

They also had to get up at like 3 in the morning or something, so I doubt we'll hear much else from them for a day or two. :)

* * *

On the way home I was reading the Gamma World GM's guide and thinking about how I will never be able to GM worth beans, but also about making up an adventure for Monday. I have a couple of ideas, just not ones that comprise entire adventures, so I figured I should write them on a piece of paper and draw circles and lines to circles with related ideas and like that. Even without having actual paper with me (my external brain has a drawing program somewhere, I expect, but...) I was coming up with things to draw in circles later, and which other circles to connect them to, but then I thought, "Will anyone even care?" The Monday Night Gamers explicitly don't want anything complicated; they just want demon-of-the-week. So now I am flornful and doomed again.

Gamma World is pretty keen, though. Maybe I should have tried to run that on Mondays. Probably requires too much proactivity from the PCs, though.

Gaming Ideas (really) by Carl (Wed Dec 29 12:10:04 2004)

So who would have guessed that hitting ENTER on the subject line posts even if there's no text?

So if they want Demon of the Week, why not run Buffy? Or run Buffy 2300 in Gamma World, as scripted by Joss Whedon, or at least Marti Noxon?

Maybe watch Kurogane Communications again for inspiration? The plucky heroine and her robot pals fight a different threat to civilization each week, make an occassional friend amidst the ruins, and get snarked at by their equipment (love that soultech). Also, anyone who doesn't show up to the game breaks down, and is fixed by next session (or possibly robbed for parts, sysadmin players being the way they are).

I have the rest of the Gamma World books if you'd like to borrow them. I think my favorite item is the Genghis Gun.

Re: Gaming Ideas (really) by Trip (Wed Dec 29 14:39:17 2004)

I think it's your browser that decides when to submit a form, so I can disclaim all responsibility for that. I should make it not put anything in the log, though.

Kurogane Communications would work pretty well with Gamma World, yah.

I think have as many of the Gamma World books as seem interesting, given that I'm not running it. Maybe more than that, since it's not as if I like d20 a lot.

Sadly, if I were to try to change the setting and characters now, the whole thing would probably fall apart.

How I Prepared For Monday Night by Bryant (Wed Dec 29 19:04:35 2004)

So I have this Monday night game of Adventure! D20, and here is how I prepared for last session:

"OK, I need a fight. Um... they'll fight Aztec warriors in a warehouse during the parade. Why? Because an Aztec warrior will try to assassinate Huey Long. I will throw Tommy Grant in because one of the PCs took him as a Nemesis. If they beat the warriors, they can follow them back to a ship and when they get on the ship it'll set sail. If the warriors win, then the Feathered Throne will capture them and ask them to do something for him in exchange for freedom."

Then I went to my wiki page with pregen thug stats on it and copied them into a document and added the above notes and printed it.

My rule of thumb: figure out a fight, another fight, and a line between the fights. DO NOT ADD A MYSTERY. I always want to add mysteries and it is a bad idea, because the motivation of the bad guys is enough of a mystery 80% of the time.

My players are remarkably happy. This is the first time I've ever run anything that lasted for more than five sessions.

bad gm by mony (Thu Dec 30 06:20:33 2004)

You keep saying this term. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

You're a fine and wonderous gm! I do miss gaming, even though I'm only so-so at it. :) sniff!

Re: How I Prepared For Monday Night by Trip (Fri Dec 31 00:05:03 2004)

I find great wisdom in your words! I always want to add mysteries too, and yes, it is probably a bad idea for most games.

When I assume control of this planet, your brain will be on the Special List.

Re: my brain by Bryant (Mon Jan 3 15:28:16 2005)

Thank you!

The mystery thing does seem to be key. I am starting to work them back in, but I do not rely on the PCs actually figuring them out. It's more like "OK, so he can control alligators and he's using them to kill people. But if the PCs don't figure this out by the second session, his beautiful girlfriend will come tell them what's going on out of revulsion."

Oddly, the players all convince themselves they figured it out after this. It's spiffing.

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27 December 2004 - Monday

It is once again the season when I remember that a) I need to buy new shoes more often, and b) no one in California has any idea what drainage is. Bah.

* * *

Quiet day around the office, so I was able to accomplish much. Or at least some; if I had accomplished much, my new weasel would log as well as monitor. But on the the other hand, I got to display my l33t perl sk1llz to a QA guy.

* * *

Only one week left to come up with a beginning adventure which will convince the Monday Night Gamers that they actually like RPGs. I know in theory what this takes: clearly defined goals, action without dithering, a chance to show off quills, and overall success. However, turning those into an actual adventure that fits the campaign and characters is not so easy.

This is probably related to my inability to come up with a good one-shot D&D adventure that I can keep ready for when gaming should break out. Somehow "a small village on the edge of nowhere is menaced by $monster" doesn't satisfy. Possibly I am asking too much given the genre, though. Pregen characters with built-in infighting might help, I guess.

* * *

The second Inu Yasha movie is very pretty, but suffers from being out of continuity so nothing can actually change. Normally this is just annoying, but this time it gave away what was probably supposed to be a significant plot twist. Ah well.

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26 December 2004 - Sunday

Absolutely nothing happened today! But that's probably okay, it being both Sunday and a holiday weekend.

* * *

I am pleased with the disc of ROD the TV that Earl & Cat ransomed for me, because [SPOILER]. But now I must wait and wait and wait for more!

* * *

Stayed up kind of late reading Gamma World stuff, just so I could put it on my reading list right after Mutants. Why yes, I am a freak.

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25 December 2004 - Saturday

Eventually I got up and we went to see House of Flying Daggers. The colors and cinematography and plot were clearly by the same aesthetic sense responsible for Hero, but it still felt kind of hollow to me. This might have been intentional, given some of the rhetoric in the film, but still. Earl suggested that it might have been because the movie was so bleak and depressing, but I think this was separate. I lack the l33t cr1t1c4l sk1llz to articulate why, though.

Then we went to Earl & Cat's place and I read all of Earl's 2004 NaNoWriMo (it was only 50k words, after all). I'm not sure what other people did; looked at travel photos or folded cranes or something.

Yes, Earl's writing is much much better than mine in all respects. Don't pretend to be surprised; it's not very convincing.

After a while, Harold & his Chris and Eric Schell appeared, bearing Chinese food, and there was feeding and chatting and playing of silly games. Marith and I tied for the win in Guillotine, and then I crushed everyone in Fluxx. Muahahahahaha.

I only had a bite each of Cat's chocolate tartlets and pumpkin cheesecake, but they were excellent.

* * *

Tonight's anime: Gungrave disc 1. The first episode is sort of in the genre of Hellsing or Supernatural Beast City with hideous monsters and shapeshifting goons and evil conspiracies, but the next three (at least) episodes are a flashback to the crime/gang conspiracy that could take place anytime between 1950 and 2000 or so. I'm not sure whether I approve of the bait-and-switch.

* * *

Stayed up too late reading Mutants, which is about developmental and genetic abnormalities and what they reveal about development and genetics. It's not quite as gross as it could be, but still, bleah. I feel pretty lucky to have all my limbs and organs!

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24 December 2004 - Friday

Everyone we would normally hang out with is away, so Marith and I were reduced to sitting around the coffee shop reading and playing zangband and stuff.

* * *

Jinian and Aimee were slightly gladder to see me today, but I think they were grievously disappointed when the door opened and it wasn't their people.

* * *

Christy & Chrisber's Chrisbermas Bash was a great success! Earl and Cat were there, and Christy's mom and brother, and Jim's girlfriend Mel, and the incomparable Ambar. Much food was consumed, including but not limited to: a ham bigger than any two of our heads put together, almost-sliced potatoes, a spinach-cheese(?) souffle, pickled beets, cabbage-apple casserole, gravlax, garlic-muenster spread on crackers, home-made Danishes (Swedishes?) with three kinds of filling, rice pudding with whipped cream, and applesauce-cinnamon rolls. Also there were many things to drink, including peach mead from Cat's friends in Colorado, which was very well-received.

Earl found the almond in the rice pudding, so he was declared king for the evening and given the bounty of marzipan pigs. Fortunately he did not abuse his power.

Apparently I have unnecessarily maligned a nameless Lee's minion: The reason the Gollubs were unable to ransom my stash is that Earl and Cat had already done so! It seems they were there just moments before I was on Wednesday, which is why the Lee's minions were acting so peculiar. I really should have guessed, but my imperceptiveness in such matters is notorious. Also the Bertanis gave me some sugar-free chocolate and a gift card to Borders, so I can indulge my book habit. My friends know me far too well.

Marith showed up after dinner to help defeat the remaining gravlax and Danishes, and had a very animated discussion with Earl about some book on self-education that Ayse made her read, or something.

Much fun was had by all, especially Tamago, who finds it very gratifying to feed people until they creak at the seams.

Yay us!

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23 December 2004 - Thursday

I am a lump, but it's okay because I'm on vacation! Not paid vacation, but oh well.

* * *

Today's good news: Kit's first book is listed on Amazon! YYYYAAAAYYYY KIT!

Today's bad news: Chrisber and Christy's cat Velcro has reached the end of his lifespan and will need to be put down in the next day or so. Poor Velcro. Poor Chrisber and Christy. :(

(It's not as though they didn't know this was going to happen, but the timing is still pretty awful.)

* * *

The Gollubs attempted to ransom my comics from Lee's, but were foiled! Apparently my stash has been moved somewhere safe, where the person on duty was unable to find it, so Jeremy and Rachel were only able to obtain the one unsubscribed thing that I added to my stash Wednesday, because it ended up in my usual subscription folder. Still, it was Neil Gaiman (Creatures of the Night), so I was pleased to receive it as a present, and do not hold the failure of Lee's against the Gollubs.

I have clever friends.

* * *

I actually cooked with vegetables on the same day I bought them, instead of letting them get all mooshy and dubious. Yay me!

I think need to learn to cook something besides stirfried eggplant and mushrooms, though.

* * *

I showed Marith the first disc of Invader Zim and she laughed and laughed. I am smug.

FOOD! by Tamago (Tue Dec 28 21:58:30 2004)

I think need to learn to cook something besides stirfried eggplant and mushrooms, though.

Okay. What would you like to learn to cook?

Re: FOOD! by Trip (Wed Dec 29 09:35:51 2004)

Something that's easy, not just a pile of starch (so no pasta), and requires no particular kitchen equipment. :)

FOOD!` by Tamago (Mon Jan 3 13:20:38 2005)

Let me think about this.

Re: FOOD! by Chrisber (Tue Jan 4 13:12:43 2005)

What about omelettes(sp?)? They only use a frying pan, and you can get a lot of variety.

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22 December 2004 - Wednesday

More work, but then I'm off until Monday, so that's okay!

In the afternoon, I had to give a little presentation about what I've actually done in exchange for the huge sums of money KeepMedia has lavished upon me, but I think I justified my existence pretty well. They seem to want me to return next week, anyway.

My nice cow orker Kristine brought us all presents. I felt bad about leaping upon them, so I delayed and ended up choosing last (not that it mattered, since all the presents were wrapped identically.) I got a Fog Vortex Gun, which is silly, but easier to use than the Allegedly Levitating Magnetic Top. I think the Skeletal Sphere of Pulsating Lights was best, though.

* * *

I squirreled away more comics at Lee's, or at least one more comic; I don't think I spotted anything I subscribe to on the shelves, and only one thing I hadn't subscribed to but wanted. It is still possible that I will be able to ransom my comics without bankrupting myself!

* * *

Sniff! Ayse is going away tomorrow! But she will return and there will be happiness. I got the briefing on feeding the cats, but otherwise nothing happened tonight because they were busy packing and packing.

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21 December 2004 - Tuesday

Work today, since I can't work Friday and probably not Thursday, because of National Consumerism Day. I am still accomplishing things, although not as quickly and effortless as a parasite of high quality would.

* * *

No anime tonight, because Dave is in Atlanta and without him there is no quorum.

Well, no Tuesday Night Anime, anyway. I watched the last disc of Legend of Black Heaven all by myself, and it rocked pretty well. It had an ending and everything!

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20 December 2004 - Monday

I finally finished working my way through Savant & Sorcerer, the new magic book for Exalted. (This took a long time because it has a cover that is so skankotronic I won't take it on the train. Most of the Exalted covers are pretty good, or at least not embarrassing, but Brian Glass (art director) must have been off his meds when he approved this one. I have no idea what Hyung-Tae Kim (artist) has for an excuse.)

Like other recent Exalted books, (eg, Fair Folk, which I read a few days ago), S&S had plenty of cool bits that would be an ornament to any game. However, these cool bits were buried under what seemed like hundreds of pages of detailed, even nit-picky, rules. It's not that they're bad rules, it's just that there's so many of them; this is what I expect in D&D3.5e supplements, not in a game of over-the-top wuxia action.

(Yah, yah, I know: Big Shock! White Wolf's superior "we're about roleplaying, not about rules" posing is complete bullshit! Maybe I'm just grumpy because it's dark all the time and I have no money.

* * *

After banging my head against a stupid Big Brother problem for days on end, I broke down and wrote to the guy who wrote the plugin that I thought I had traced the problem to. He responded within a couple of hours, despite it being in the small of the morning in Europe, and although his code wasn't actually to blame, he did know what the problem was. Now it is all better. Oh, and I wrote a script to tar 300 000-odd files from one directory into convenient month-sized lumps.

And I get paid for it!

* * *

Caltrain betrayed me horribly again (why, oh why, does the train never stop at San Antonio when I need to be somewhere?) so I was late to Monday Night Talking About Gaming, but Dr Adam Janin, PhD, was there to finish up his character and establish backstory, so it was a pretty successful evening. I must have an actual adventure, complete with demons to smite, by the 3rd of January, though!

Also Christy showed us Sitayana, which was surreal yet charming. Although it did reinforce my notion that all of the past was completely horrible and anyone who wants to take us back to it should be recycled for organic materials.

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19 December 2004 - Sunday

Today I was slightly less lumpish, although less virtuous, and went to see the Lemony Snicket movie. It was okay. Not a great deal of plot, but very atmospheric. And Violet was gothalicious. (Yes, I know she's supposed to be 14. I wonder how old the actress actually is? ... Ah, 16. Well, that's a little better.)

* * *

Last three episodes of second season Buffy. Oh, the doom. But still go Spike!

I do have to wonder about the Big Trauma of the season finale, though. Was it really necessary? Would a pocketknife and a shallow incision have worked just as well? I agree that it's hard to think clearly when exposed to such angst, and teenagers are prone to going for the most dramatic option, but the audience knowing it wasn't necessary would change the flavor considerably.

Anyway, now we have to try to hit Harold up for season three tapes.

Gothalicious by Carl (Tue Dec 21 23:13:12 2004)

Jewel Staite (who played Kaylee the engineer on Firefly) has a small but amusing part as a goth in the final episode of season 1 Dead Like Me.

I can offer Buffy DVDs for Seasons 1-6. I can't help with Season 7, other than to offer advice to pretend it never happened?

Re: Gothalicious by Trip (Wed Dec 22 09:34:57 2004)

I still haven't seen Firefly! Ayse wants to show it to me, but she's going to Mexico tomorrow, so it will have to wait.

We might take you up on that offer of DVDs, since although it is very kind of Harold to lend us his conscientiously-recorded tapes, analog media is just Not As Good.

Buffy by marith (Wed Dec 22 19:29:25 2004)

Hey, I quite liked season 7! Not really sure why so many people didn't, except that it does seem to hold up much better when watched all at once (as Trip and I did) than week to week with hiatuses.

Season 4, now that I expect to get a lot of cross-stitching done during.

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18 December 2004 - Saturday

I have been entirely useless today! Well, okay, I went and deposited my (teensy) paycheck and admired the many overdraft charges I ran up, and picked up my prescriptions and shopped a little, but otherwise, a lump.

* * *

I guess Dave is even now zooming toward Atlanta.

* * *

In the evening, after spending an hour playing 4 Corners, I heated a quick dinner and went over to play six-person Settlers of Cataan with Ayse & Ken and Marith and Ken's sister Jamie & her boy Dan. It's the first time we've actually had six people for the expansion, and boy was the board crowded. Marith got longest road with ten units, and that was the longest road anyone on the board could possibly build.

Then Marith crushed us like the insects we are, so don't let her complain that she never wins Settlers!

I had already met Jamie at Fourth of July in Berkeley a couple of years back, but it was definitely easier interacting with her not in a strange new place full of highly dubious people. Not that I was a sparkling conversationalist, alas. Dan seems to be a pretty good guy too, and fun was had by all.

Settlers by Ken (Mon Dec 20 20:20:32 2004)

I actually could have theoretically built a 12 length road. It would have been very tricky, and would have involved other people not building one segment before I built five, but it was theoretically possible.

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17 December 2004 - Friday

I spent a long time at work (well, okay, 8 hours, but that's a big chunk of a 20-hour work week!) but have fixed both of the things I was beating my head against! Now I have another thing to dent my skull with, but still! Progress!

* * *

I went over to hang out at Ken & Ayse's in hopes that fun happened, but mostly we just watched The Simpsons and hung out and adored the cats. Come to think of it, that's a lot like fun!

Jinian is the loudest-purring cat ever!

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16 December 2004 - Thursday

I got distracted from my primary task by writing a (gasp!) shell script to automate something. Since I was just beating my head against the other thing, I felt all productive and took on yet another problem, but it turned out to be just as impenetrable as the original one, or maybe more so. Bah.

* * *

Okay, now the plot of Legend of Black Heaven is moving! I'm not sure in what direction -- probably sideways -- but it's definitely moving!

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15 December 2004 - Wednesday

Knowing one is doomed (even if that doom can be avoided through the generosity of a friend) does not inspire one to get out of bed in the morning.

* * *

As I expected, the people at Lee's were very nice about agreeing to save up all my comics until I can come and ransom them. But it was still embarrassing.

* * *

No Hounds of Balazar tonight, for like the fourth fortnight in a row. I think Al may be just slightly overcommitted. :(

But Marith came over and flaunted her yummy-smelling pot pie at me (my stirfry glop is vegetarian because after I chopped all the vegetables, I realized there wouldn't be any room in the pan for chicken), and we watched some more second season Buffy. Doom, all the doom! But go Spike!

* * *

Legend of Black Heaven set up a great premise, but I'm not sure it's doing a lot with it. Maybe I'm just impatient. Anyway, I will certainly keep watching.

reminder! by Ayse (Thu Dec 16 22:37:42 2004)

Did you contact the Sapphire recruiter guys? If not, you should!

Re: reminder! by Trip (Fri Dec 17 09:38:30 2004)

I did not! I should! Thank you!

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14 December 2004 - Tuesday

The meeting wasn't anything interesting, but I got my cashed-out vacation hours, and became Sad, because it was much less than I had calculated! Then I went to deposit the check, and found out that my bank account had very small numbers of the wrong sign. This is not good. I shall have to work even harder at not spending money. And probably sell off all my paper objects to pay rent next month. :(

* * *

Argh! Tellme has decided to process someone else before they even interview me again! There is some doubt as to whether this person will prove suitable, so I'm not completely doomed, but nothing is likely to move forward until after the holidays.

Maybe I should give up eating...

* * *

Millbrae also costs money, but Norm is on vacation a fortnight from now, and a fortnight after that, perhaps everything will be different. Or perhaps not, but there will be time to figure out the best course.

* * *

If only I had not spent jillions of dollars on Last Exile (the last disc of which arrived tonight)! But it continues to be enjoyable, so that's okay. Anyway, no one flaked, so we got to finish Angelic Layer! Yay!

I must now consider what to show next year.

What to Show by Carl (Sun Dec 19 23:01:40 2004)

If you haven't already seen them, I recommend Haibene-Renmei, Fruits Basket,Crest of the Stars (and the two sequels), Rahxephon, and His & Her Circumstances. I'm sure you've already watched Azumanga Daioh.

Good luck on getting the job at Tellme! And if that doesn't work out, Bay LISA meets the 3rd Thursday of every month on the Apple campus in Cupertino and there are often people looking for sysadmin types there, followed by an interesting presentation. They also have a jobs mailing list.

Re: What to Show by Trip (Mon Dec 20 10:08:40 2004)

Ray showed Crest/Banner/Banner II of the Stars and RahXephon, and Dave and I have seen Azumanga Daioh and His & Her Circumstances. I don't know if Neil has seen Fruits Basket or Haibane Renmei. So you see it's all very complicated! If we had more than three people, showing stuff that one or two people have already seen wouldn't be such a problem, but that seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

Thanks for the Bay LISA pointer!

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13 December 2004 - Monday

Bad train! Bad!

* * *

Hm. This thing isn't working as well as I thought. But I think that now I've corrected all the superficial problems, so once I get rid of the major fundamental problem, it should be good to go!

* * *

Extremely wretched train creature! I will have my revenge!

* * *

Adam is still enflued, so we didn't actually play the new Monday Night Game, but I went over and hung out with the Bertanis and admired their napkin rings, and we discussed game stuff. They now have characters with stats and personality, and we have ideas to present to Adam for backstory and base and whatnot.

* * *

Still no anime, 'cause I have to get up early tomorrow to go in to Taos and get met and paid and stuff.

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12 December 2004 - Sunday

Finished the Texhnolyze disc. There was some exposition, although not of plot, and a psychosexual cybersurgeon, but otherwise still enh. Back it goes.

* * *

Tonight on Adventures of Jehanne & Alazaïs: battle against the demon and its undead minions in the underground temple of evil! It was pretty scary, but I rolled two 19s with Alazaïs wielding the magic demon-killing auto-threat-confirming sword, doing about 50 points of damage total, and other characters beat on it a little, so finally it congealed and shattered and stopped being a problem. It did not return Alazaïs's magic sword, though, the bastard!

Then Alazaïs got trapped in temporal stasis, and the PCs got roped into helping wolf-riding hobgoblin legionnaires recover their standard from the goblins who stole it (thus answering the question of what their powerful magic item is and where they got it). On the other hand, the supplies for the new keep are half-accumulated!

* * *

No anime tonight, 'cause I have to go to work tomorrow.

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11 December 2004 - Saturday

Yay Amber High School! But boo, no Marith!

I don't think we've entirely settled on a genre, but Chrisber is going to update and flesh out the list of school NPCs, so perhaps we will have the kind of adversity that snickers in corners and fills our dorm rooms with frogs. Venomous carnivorous frogs, probably.

I did suggest that the game would be better if we had more dice-rolling (since you only need to roll dice when you face adversity), for which I am probably going to hell. On the other hand, it's FATE, and we all know playing FATE makes you cooler, so if I can become cool enough and then go to hell, it will freeze over, and then I'll get smooches! ...or something like that.

After gaming, Ayse organized a pot roast and we watched some Yes Minister, which is still funny in a horrible way. Then we played 5-person Settlers. I came in last, because I am Lame.

* * *

Tonight's anime: Texhnolyze. It seems to be cyberpunk/future noir, with very little dialog, a lot of panting, and no exposition. Enh. I'll watch the rest of this disc, but unless it becomes more interesting, I won't get any more.

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10 December 2004 - Friday

Betrayed! Horribly betrayed! There is no party at work today! I should have known it was all just a bait-and-switch scheme!

On the other hand, I think I mostly finished my first assignment, or at least produced blinkenlights of reasonable colors.

* * *

Yay Sailor Moon! Although I'm not sure what that bit with Makoto and Ami's skirt was about... Anyway, we now have all five senshi and the Big Secrets have been revealed, so the descent into doom will doubtless ensue in early January.

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9 December 2004 - Thursday

Bah! Stupid Caltrain! Why do you always skip the stops I use, and not the ones I don't care about? Whose benefit do you think you're being run for, anyway?

* * *

Hey, cool, I fixed something on my second day at work! I even got to use my special skills in reading HTTP headers and hacking other people's perl code! Also, I'm making distinct progress on the perl scripts and may declare victory tomorrow.

* * *

By pre-lunch time I was getting pretty hungry, so I went along with my boss and the gorilla guy to the ramen joint they are both addicted to. (Apparently they are not alone in this, since the line to get in when the place opens at 11:30 begins forming at about 11.) It wasn't good for me, since ramen is pretty much pure starch, but it was pretty good and not terribly expensive, so yay.

* * *

Now there have been company parties on my first two days at work. I am suspicious of this trend.

Anyway, it was the standard White Elephant Gift Exchange, and Kristine (the cow orker whose problem I fixed, though really she is undoubtedly l33ter than me) had some spare brick-a-brack she gave me so I could participate. Silliness ensued. I eventually ended up with a small blue glass vase, which was less interesting than most of the other items, but probably more useful than, say, a Cheech & Chong video and a large bag of peanuts. Well. Not less useful, anyway.

* * *

Lunch took so long that I ended up staying until 18:00 to make my 7 hours, but it's not as though I had anything exciting planned for tonight.

white elephants! by marith (Mon Dec 13 23:47:03 2004)

Clearly it was the day for white elephants! They had one at Stanford too, and the organizer kindly gave me a gift to kick in. You narrowly missed being given a cute small grey stuffed kitten. I was hoping to get a chance to steal it back, if only to be able to call, "Unhand that kitten!" across the room, but no dice.

Hopefully Ayse will like what I wound up with instead, because I traded a book on Terrible Lizards for it.

Yay work! Yay not dead! You know, you should stop buying me and Ayse comics every week if you are having to worry about Lee's confirmation. We will still love you if you don't buy us comics!

Re: white elephants! by Trip (Tue Dec 14 09:39:25 2004)

Aw! I hope the kitten goes to a good home! And the Terrible Lizards too!

The amount I spend on comics for you and Ayse is miniscule compared to the amount I spend on comics for myself, so don't worry about it.

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8 December 2004 - Wednesday

Ack! Work! Ack! But I already did my getting-lost, so I made it there half an hour early and did not die. Much.

My new cow orkers appear to be geeks, so that's good. Except for half the group (counting me) being new, it seems a lot like the AV ops group. The company as a whole is very small (like 30 people), which seems to be good.

Apparently I picked the right day to start, since this is the day the building management threw a party with food and live music for all their tenants. For a bunch of random people in the lobby of an office tower, I guess it was pretty good; like I know from parties?

The first thing I got put to work on looks to be a lot of grinding through perl scripts to find out where the bozo who wrote them (obviously a frustrated shell scripter) screwed up, which is not exactly entertaining but occupies my tiny little brain.

* * *

Apparently one of the customer service guys has a secret identity as a burlesque gorilla. I think I must be near a large city...

* * *

Victory! This is the lightest comics week at Lee's in like a decade! I do not have to do anything special just because I haven't been paid yet! Next week will almost certainly not be as fortunate, but I'll worry about that when it eventuates.

* * *

Having used up all my brain on new job, I collapsed in front of the DVD player and watched American Pie because hey, lewdness and Alyson Hannigan! How can it go wrong?

And it didn't go wrong, given that I had appropriate expectations. Alyson Hannigan should have had more screen time, but what she had was used well. However, I think my favorite character was either Finch or Jessica (who reminds me of Ambar).

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7 December 2004 - Tuesday

I resisted the urge to go to Gamescape for fear they might sell me something.

* * *

Yay! Anime happened! And it must happen again next week, so we can finish Angelic Layer before everyone explodes for the holidays.

* * *

Ack. Can't get to sleep. I have to work tomorrow. Why can I not sleep?

Oh, right.

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5 December 2004 - Sunday

Today was the annual Gollub Gingerbread Party. I went with Ken & Ayse, so arrived late, but there was still party to be enjoyed. I attempted to make conversation with various people, but mostly failed. I fear the self-knowledge that results from age has only revealed to me that I never have had anything worthwhile to say, so that now I can't ignore that fact. :(

On the other hand, I didn't die!

Gingerbread! by mony (Wed Dec 8 06:00:53 2004)

Wah! I meant to call but completely forgot. :( :(

I think you have worthwhile things to say. I have had many a fine conversation with you. So there.

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4 December 2004 - Saturday

Another day of very little accomplishment, sniff. I did go grocery shopping, and bit the bullet and paid rent (it's not like putting it off was helping me any, really).

* * *

In the evening it was cold and lonely, so I talked Ayse and Ken into inviting me over. Ayse showed me some of the books she got for 17 cents apiece at the library book sale: one had many pictures of adorable kittens, and the other had tasty-sounding recipes (not for kitten!) with alarming 50s-60s style bad food photos. Also the real cats present were cute.

Then Ayse and Ken tried to show me World of Warcraft, but this was hampered by Ayse's computer seizing up and needing a cold boot every five minutes. I hope it was an OS issue, not an application issue, because it actually looked moderately interesting. Well, the other question is whether my somewhat cheesy DSL line is up to playing a MMORPG, but it probably is.

But no costly new hobbies until I get paychecks!

* * *

Being a parasite who has digested his own neural matter, I stayed up until 29561251 o'clock in the morning reading Bad Magic by Stephan Zielinski. The tag line is, "There are some things people were not meant to know. Some people know those things anyway. Sucks to be them." The central conceit (am I using that word right?) is that magic exists, but witnessing it causes most people to lose SAN. They also block the memory, but frequently go insane and/or die later anyway. On the other hand, not having an open third eye means that the world of magic mostly leaves you alone, at least directly, so being mundane is actually a net survival characteristic.

So, it's like Mage: The Pretension in some respects, but much cooler and without the lame metaphysics. Perhaps more like The Invisibles, although I haven't read all of that so I can't be sure. Anyway, Bad Magic rocks. Everyone should read it, except maybe my Monday Night Gamers, because I want to steal from it.

conceit by kit (Sun Dec 5 23:12:43 2004)

You used conceit correctly. :)

Re: conceit by Trip (Mon Dec 6 11:42:41 2004)

Now I will become conceited!

tag line by cat (Tue Dec 7 13:19:25 2004)

"There are some things people were not meant to know. Some people know those things anyway. Sucks to be them."

wow, i love this! must figure out how to squirrel it away for later reference...

Kit and Cat by Del from Philly (Wed Dec 8 16:50:17 2004)

My feeble brain has just realized you have followers named kit AND cat. I think my remaining brain cell just exploded.

Re: Kit and Cat by Trip (Thu Dec 9 17:18:16 2004)

Mmm, brain flambe!

Followers! by Midori (Tue Dec 14 22:52:32 2004)

Not to mention the actual cats who follow Trip around and then fall over and emit sleep rays!

Re: Followers! by Trip (Wed Dec 15 12:35:51 2004)

...zzzzzz.

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3 December 2004 - Friday

Nothing new at Gamescape, which is probably for the best, considering I don't get any money for another couple of weeks.

* * *

Greencine brought me disc 3 of Kino's Journey, and it continues to be interesting enough to watch, but not really to buy. There is one scene on this disc that I really want to see a development of, but I'm not sure I'll get one.

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2 December 2004 - Thursday

I think I have my two job opportunities aligned! The part-time job at Keepmedia starts next Tuesday and will run for "a few weeks". By the time that finishes, I will have gone through more process with Tellme, and either have a full-time job at the beginning of the year, or have done something else clever to get a different full-time job.

Or something like that. Anyway, I think I am not entirely doomed. Maybe.

* * *

More season 2 Buffy. Oh, the doom is huge and inescapable.

Ethics! by Panda! (Sat Dec 4 10:12:29 2004)

It's cool. For a part time short term job it's actually not that bad if you need to bail in the middle. Also they might not mind if you finished things up on evenings and weekends.

Re: Ethics! by Trip (Sat Dec 4 12:35:10 2004)

Wow, cool! I bet it's not every webpage that gets comments from a panda!

I pretty much agree with you; the only caveat is that this part-time gig is through Taos, and I don't want to annoy them by bailing in the middle of a contract and leaving them to try to fill the gap. After all, someday I might be able to suck more money out of them!

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1 December 2004 - Wednesday

Well, since I have these two job opportunities, I guess it's okay to buy comics. Right? Oh.

* * *

Erp! The part-time job wants to start soon! I better send the ankle-gnawing weasels after the full-time job people!

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